School Children
Nearly 90 per cent of East Asian students suffer from myopia. REUTERS

Nearly 90 per cent of students in East Asia suffer from myopia, or short-sightedness, according to a new study.

Researchers also found that on average 20 to 30 per cent children suffer from myopia in the UK.

Researchers from the Australian National University who conducted a study across the globe found that nearly 90 per cent of school-leavers have short sightedness.

They claim that the main reason for the problem is that children in East Asia spend several hours studying and have very less outdoor exercise. They found that because of tedious study habits the children's eyes get strained leading to several other eye-related problems.

The study claims that the Asian studying habits are solely responsible for the problem. Scientists said that children should be allowed to play outdoors at least two hours a day or else they will get myopia or several other eye-related problems.

The scientists said that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness, according to BBC News.

They said that two generations ago only 20 to 30 per cent children had myopia in the East. But now they there is a drastic increase.

"What we've done is written a review of all the evidence which suggests that something extraordinary has happened in East Asia in the last two generations. They've gone from something like 20 per cent myopia in the population to well over 80 per cent, heading for 90 per cent in young adults, and as they get adult it will just spread through the population. It certainly poses a major health problem," BBC quoted Prof Ian Morgan at the Australian National University, as saying

Morgan said before myopia leads to major eye problems such as blindness or visual impairment, it should be stop or prevented. Health Organisations such as WHO should take up preventive measures and proper eye treatment, they said.

"Even if successful prevention is possible, East Asia will still be faced, for close to the next 100 years, with an adult population at high risk of developing pathological [high] myopia. Further progress in our understanding of the natural history of pathological myopia is thus essential, and while there have been some promising developments in treatment, more effective treatments are still required," Onmedica quoted Prof Ian Morgan as saying.